Friday, 22 June 2018

Ajanta and Ellora

The Silent Storytellers…….
Kailasa Temple
 Nestled in the Sayadari Hills, adorning the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, astonishingly carved into hillside rock in the middle of nowhere are the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Both form an important UNESCO World Heritage site and represent an exquisite piece of master craftsmanship dating back to the and 11 th century AD. It is also an important living symbol of religious coexistence back in that era. 
The most incomprehensible thing about the Ajanta and Ellora caves is that they were crafted by hand, with only a hammer and chisel. Built in the times when there was no electricity, machines leaves the visitors spell bound and shocked. These are indeed the true marvel of architecture, art and culture of ancient times and present the true reflection of the immense unmatchable knowledge that existed in the bygone era.
There are 34 caves at Ellora dating from between the 6th and 11th centuries AD, and 29 caves at Ajanta dating back to between the 2nd century BC and 6th century AD. The caves at Ajanta are all Buddhist, while the caves at Ellora are a mixture of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain. The Funds for the construction of the caves were provided by various rulers, and are believed to be home to Jain, Hindu and Buddhist monks. The beauty of these caves is mesmerising and leaves you speechless igniting a spark of mystery that revolves around their construction. The beauty of this place is further enhanced in the rainy season with the green backdrop and overflowing water falls.
Not only the architecture is marvellous but all caves are beautifully decorated by paintings which depict the lifestyle present in those days. Most stunning feature in the paintings include the exquisite grand jewellery prevalent in that era, the hair style with a special mention of “sadhna cut”  “buns” clothing showcasing Miniskirts and the nail paints in all female paintings revealing a lot about the olden times and leave us mindboggling with several questions about the progress and advancement the people those times had achieved. 
The incredible Kailasa Temple (also known as the Kailash Temple), which forms Cave 16 at Ellora, is undoubtedly the most famous attraction (picture). The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his sacred abode at Mount Kailash. Its immense size covers twice the area of the Pantheon in Athens, and is one and a half times as high!  The amazing fact about it is - that it has been carved from a single rock and leaves the architects and engineers of the modern digital world flabbergasted and pondering about the techniques used and they call it a true marvel of architecture , deep intense and detailed  planning  , intricacy of design and proportions The life-size elephant sculpture is also a highlight .
The Ajanta Caves, comprising of 29 Buddhist cave temples which were built in the 2nd century B.C. represent both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions are the best masterpieces of Buddhist art in India. 
These caves are among the largest rock-carved monastic-temple complexes in the entire world and represent the key essence of Indian rock-cut architecture. These are undoubtedly the most spectacular cave complexes and not to be missed at any cost. The magnificent remnants are the silent master creations telling us about the splendour and grandeur of the Chalukya and Rashtrakuta dynasties.
Ajanta and Ellora are the true jewels of the rich Indian cultural heritage and each Indian should take pride in being a part of this inheritance.
The masterpiece of technology, art, design, sophistication, deep precision planning where one step was the final step and you had to get it right every time you chiselled.
Master piece by master craftsmen left, a construction puzzle we still are trying to put together ……………

Padmpani Painting

  By Shweta Chandra 

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Brindavan Garden

Brindavan Garden 

Image result for brindavan gardenBrindavan garden, a popular picnic spot for Mysorians are laid out below the Krishnarajasagar Dam on the Kaveri River. It is situated in Mandya District of Karnataka state. One of the most visited places in Mysore, tourists feel that, visit to Mysore was incomplete without a visit to Brindavan Garden.
Spreading over 150 acres of land, it's work was started in the year 1927 and completed in 1932. The garden built in connection with the construction of the Krishnaraja Sagar Dam. The Krishnaraja Sagar Dam known as Kannambadi to the locals itself is a superb example of excellent engineering and itself is a tourist attraction in Mysore. The project was designed by the farsighted engineer Sir M. Vishweswaraiah and constructed during the rule of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. The dam is around 8600 feet long and 130 feet high with a reservoir spread over an area of 130 sq.kms.It represents a marvel of civil engineering achievement in pre-independence India and was among the first in the world to use automatic sluice gates. Constructed entirely in stone in surkhi mortar, this 3 km long dam is located at the confluence of the rivers -Cauvery, Hemavati and Lakshmanathritha.
Image result for brindavan gardenAs a part of beautification of the dam site, Sir Mirza Muhammad Ismail, the then Dewan (the chief financial officer )  of the princely State of Mysore create a plan of developing a garden and he designed the garden based on the Shalimar Gardens of Kashmir. The work of the Brindavan Garden was started in 1927 with its chief architect, G.H. Krumbigal, the superintendent of Parks and Garden of the Mysore Government.  Better known in the world as its symmetric design, it has well planned and well maintained lawns, innumerable pools, fountains. During 60's these gardens have been the location for several movies like Burning Train etc, but today, shooting is strictly ban for security reason.
One can enter the garden from steps down from the middle of the dam. Laid out in three terrace formation, the garden has decorated steps where water flows in-between these ornate steps. The major attraction of the park is the musical fountains that leaps in rhythm with music and light. It is located in the North Brindavan Garden. Timings: 7.00pm. to 7.55pm (on weekdays), 7.00pm. to 8.5 pm (on holidays). During winter: 6.30pm to 7.25pm (on weekdays), 6.30pm to 8.25pm on holidays. A boating pond is in the midst of the garden to cross the dam from the south bank to the north bank where visitors can enjoy a boat ride around the beautiful statue of the Goddess Cauvery at the foot of the dam.
Image result for brindavan gardenThe garden has fruit orchards, two horticulture farms, Nagavana and Chandravana, illuminated flower beds, various species flower plants and ornamental plants, open spaces, lawns. The slopes are planted with colourful Bougainvilleas and ornamental plants like Allamanda, Bignonia magnifica etc. It also has well laid out roads and pathways. The whole garden when illuminated at night is an enchanting site to see.Just beside the South of the Brindavan there is an area for children with small rides. Various dummy sized animals like seated Gorilla, Giraffe, Bison, Lioness, Grizzly Bear, Tortise, etc can be seen here. There is an Aquarium in this garden which has Malayasian breed of fish which is known as Arona. 

Monday, 25 December 2017

The Venna Lake

                                                                            -Chinmayee Deshpande 
Image result for Travel blogs on venna lake
Picture Credits- Rajesh Deshpande
Mahabaleshwar is a captivating hill station positioned in Satara district of Maharashtra. At an altitude of one,353 m within the Western Ghats range, Mahabaleshwar is understood for its charming beauty, historical temples, fantastic waterfalls, misty hills, and valleys. This pristine hill station is the source of the Krishna River that flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Mahabaleshwar is one of the top monsoon locations in India and additionally one of the best weekend gateways from Mumbai and Pune. 

Often referred because the queen of hill stations in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar attracts large range of vacationers for its lovable perspectives, beautiful landscapes and satisfactory temperatures. Pratapgarh Fort, Venna Lake, Mahabaleshwar Temple, Krishnabai Temple, Lingamala Falls, Tapola, Panchgani are some crucial places to visit in mahabaleshwar. There are numerous viewpoints that are strategically located to seize the panoramic views. Arthur’s Seat, Wilson Point, Kate’s Point & Elephant head Point, Connaught Peak and Bombay Point are famous viewpoints.

Image result for Travel blogs on venna lake
Picture Credits- Bhargav Deshpande 
Venna Lake is a artifical lake built in 1842 by way of Sri Appa Saheb Maharaja. Venna Lake has an area of about 28 acres having outer edge around 7-8 km and is fed by means of repeated springs. Surrounded with the aid of lush greenery, Venna Lake may be very popular spot amongst honeymooners as well as households and additionally one of the top locations to visit in Mahabaleshwar town. Tourists can enjoy a boat trip within the lake or a horse journey next to the lake. Row and Pedal boats are available for the tourists.
 While coming back from Panchgani, we stopped at Venna Lake for some boating. It has changed its face since we visited it last time three years back. The lake is a great attraction to everybody with its dazzling sight, boating, fishing, newly came up dam and stalls for games and eatables. It is within walking distance from Town Mahableshwar. It also supplies drinking water to the town. The lake has an area of 28 Acres and average depth of the 10 ft. December to June is not the best time to see the waterfalls in Mahableshwar, Venna Lake’s beauty more than makes up for it. Boating here is a very peaceful experience and both paddle and row boats are available for hire. There are many kiosks selling delicious Maharashtra street food, strawberries, mulberries and more, just opposite the lake.A boat ride at Venna Lake is a very relaxing experience.

Monday, 20 November 2017

The Mangladevi Temple

                                                      - Ninaad Tonsey

In Tulunadu, in the 10th century, Kundavarma, the most famous king of Alupa dynasty was ruling. Mangalore was the capital of his kingdom. At that time, there came two sages named Machhendranatha and Gorakanatha from Nepal. They reached Mangalapura, crossing the river Nethravathi. The place were they crossed the river came to be known as ‘Gorakdandu’. They chose a place near the bank of Nethravathi which was once the centre of activities of sage Kapila. He had his hermitage there and it was a great centre of education.’
Hearing about the arrival of the two saints the king came to meet them. Introducing himself as the king of Tulunadu he paid them his respects and offered all help and patronage. Pleased with the humility and virtues of the king they brought to his knowledge that his kingdom was a holy place and it was sanctified by the activities of holy saints and sages in the past. They requested him to grant them land so that they could build their hermitage and make it a centre of their religious activities under his protection and patronage.

Image result for mangalore mangaladeviFor Kundavarma it was really a surprise to know that his land had such a hoary history. It was from these saints he came to know that once upon a time, in his land there existed a temple dedicated to mother Mangaladevi. He heard from them the story of Vikhasini, Andasura, Parashurama and the temple of Mangaladevi built by Parashurama. The two saints took the king to the places where all these historical events had taken place. They asked the king to dig the place and retrieve the Linga and the Dharapatra symbolising Mangaladevi and install them in a shrine along with Nagaraja for protection.

Kundavarma carried out the advice of the two sages. A grand shrine of Sri Mangaladevi stood on the holy place. The two sages themseleves guided and supervised the execution of the work. The temple attained special significance as Mother Magaladevi granted special favours, especially on maidens. Pious maidens who worship the goddess observing Mangaladharavrata (Swayamvara Parvathi) will heave their wishes fulfilled. They get husbands most suited for them.

Even today, heads of Kadri Yogirajmutt visit Mangaladevi temple on the first day of Kadri temple festival and offer prayer and silk cloth to the Goddess.

Friday, 22 September 2017



                                                                                                                   - BY DANISH FAROOQ

As we all know that our country is one of the oldest countries of the world. It is full of attractive historical places, heritage sites, and charming tourism places including mysterious places in various Indian cities which make India famous for travel and tourism all over the world.  People from all across the world come to see beautiful places in India and love to travel here. From the architectural and cultural point of view, India is one of the most famous countries all over the world. India is most populated and multicultural country and maintains its uniqueness for unity in diversity. India is the motherland of the worldwide famous legends such as Mahatma Ghandi, Gautama Buddha, Rani Lakshmi Bai and contains the traces of their presence in various forms.
Picture credits: Mr. Ashish Chandra.
Tourism to India is a big source of income for the country and many lives depends on this. The technological advancement has changed the way people look at travel, and has made a great impact on tourism.Tourism now a days is seen as a product and tourism as an industry but it is yet to attain the status of a formal industry . Tourism in India, is the second largest earning source of foreign exchange. The tourism industry in India employs a large number of people of both category, skilled and unskilled through its primary, secondary and intermediaries.Tourism in any country promotes its national integration and international brotherhood.
Our country is naturally bound in its all four sides offering wide range of flora , fauna, landforms, multiple cultures and above all a big treasure of handicrafts . Tourism in India can be called as a fully loaded product with all features. In order to leverage this uniqueness, a tourism campaign named as ‘Incredible India’ was started by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) in in 2005. Tourists places in India has also been divided under sections like spiritual tourism,’ ‘ecotourism’, ‘spa tourism’, and ‘adventure tourism’ in order to encourage tourism and better growth in India.

India is awakening to this boom of tourism and we still lack the sensitivity towards tourists and tourism places. We are still to reach our full potential of tourism revenues. There is still lot of scope and in spite of all the negatives – safety issues , high population , pollution, poorly kept historical sites , lack of proper infrastructure we are a sought after tourist destination . So I leave you to ponder what will happen if we are able to improve upon even 50% of these concerns. Small improvements and little concerns can give a big leap to tourism.